How to Respond to Negative Comments - KM&A

Here’s the scene: you’re monitoring your client’s social media accounts on AgoraPulse (check out our favorite marketing tools) and there it is. A classic ALL CAPS rant about how your client is the absolute worst. This comment not only discusses poor service, but also points out a specific mistake that an employee made. You understand that if this isn’t addressed in a timely and professional manner, it could hurt your client’s reputation. So, what do you do?

Initial Response:

Your initial response opens the door for you to reshape the commenter’s opinion of your client. It also allows you to prove that you have everything in control and that their next experience won’t mirror the first.

Once you review the comment with your team, it’s important to investigate the situation. You may need to reach out to the writer of the comment via email or message for further explanation of the situation. Once you figure out the problem, you can then react by following your client’s guidelines. 

If comment addresses something about something that didn’t happen (some attempt this for free services), there are a couple of ways to handle the situation. The first option is to ask what happened. If they cannot provide accurate information or don’t make sense, it may be time to delete the comment and move on. A second option is to take a deep breath and work with the customer until they are satisfied with your response. This option requires a lot of patience, but can pay off in the end.

They Retaliate:

You thought that you did everything right. You responded quickly and offered a solution, but the commenter retaliated. Here goes another negative comment.

Should you offer another solution? Just delete the comment and move on?

Some organizations choose to keep negative comments on social media to appear authentic, but others choose to remove them. This is something important to discuss with your client when making social media guidelines. Mistakes are bound to happen, so having a set plan for when negative comments pop-up on social media is crucial.

Next Steps:

In every interaction, remember that you are representing your client. Even if individually addressing each concern seems timely, it can pay off in terms of your client’s reputation.

Similar to a PR crisis, have a plan in place to determine how you’ll react to negative comments on social media. How can you respond in a way that shows your client’s voice? Do you respond the same way to everyone? Do you direct everyone to a customer service email? Consistency is key to representing an organization on social media. 

If you find that you’re in need of social media services or public relations assistance, we’d love to help! Contact us today and we’ll put you in touch with the right people. No one should have to brave the online trolls alone!

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